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Stephen

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Everything posted by Stephen

  1. I honestly doubt I would buy a hand made mug with that in the bottom. I may not bee the target though as I am not into knowing things like temp of my coffee beyond tasting it like Neil said. I am wondering if this is a class phych assignment to gauge reactions :-)
  2. Lots of great advice. The only thing I would add is to spend the bulk of your time finding those 10 daily orders you mention. I have no idea how many of orders you have now are filtered through friends and family but once you are doing this full time those guys are not likely going to be good for 300 orders a month and organizing can be done any time and on the fly but marketing and bringing in steady orders has to be the top of the list or the rest of it is for naught.
  3. I vote for coil building it like Denice suggested, that you could actually do that after a little instruction. It probably will not be thing of beauty but it will be big and hold that tree and like you said you can say you grew the plant and made the pot. Coil building is also something to master as well if you decide you like slab pottery but not wheel throwing u can go that way. yeah you are being more than a little naive, but that's OK, lots of people approach wheel throwing having no idea its as hard as it is to get good at and the folks that are really good make it look so damn easy :
  4. I cannot even begin to imagine what 275 customers in a day would feel like but it would certainly include a celebration at the end.
  5. Ya know a few hundred to five is an OK range for something that is more filler and exposure than anything. Still in trying to make a living at this, when you can at least hit this range then its contributing and it makes the effort mean something. We are really working on our one day show setup to make it much easier.
  6. Can anyone give some sales stats to any popups they have done? I get that they are good for exposure but are they also good for few hundred in sales. It's a lot of work to put up and take down a booth. Do you usually have to give a percentage of 'table' fee to the hosting business?
  7. remember a lot of the shows need to have a fireproof label for the curtains..
  8. Hi Terry, mind sharing what this account produced, say monthly?
  9. Welcome to the forum, as you already have discovered this group will chime in whenever needed. I started by throwing for a couple of hours every day before going to work. This meant getting up at 4am so it was a commitment. For months I sliced the vast majority of my pots in half. Maybe 1 out of 20 continued on to be glazed and early on I only did that to get some practice with the rest of the process. I can't begin to tell you how much this helped me really zero in on where I was at and what I needed to work on. I think it also helped me get past getting attached to individual pots. I
  10. ha ha, lost some of my coffee too :-)
  11. Thank you Pres, Chris and Amy for the kind words and Chris ur right it is invariable that offence, whether it is intended or not, is going to happen in this world if we are engaged. Thanks Neil and I do think u are right. This forum, because it is an Industry forum, is a great place to talk pottery, make friends and network for ones pottery business. I know that I immediately think of you when thinking of adding a second kiln and I am sure most of the regulars on this board do as well. Glaze Nerd I strongly recommend reconsidering mixing glazes for your therapy unless ur working on ang
  12. I just finished reading a thread from a few months ago and it came up again why folks like me do not use their full names. Just a word why I'm just Stephen. First off I am not doing this to not have accountability for what I say. I truly do try with every single of the few hundred post I've made to be respectful, kind and hopefully helpful in some way. I also do my very best to not post about things I don't know about, or at least I think I know about. Since I'm just a struggling novice five year potter that means its usually about business (since I ran a smallish non-pottery business
  13. I've been on clay sabbatical of sorts for the last few months working on a non-pottery related project. Getting back in gear and ran across this thread. What a read. I just want to say how much I have appreciated all the advice I get and if I ever forget to acknowledge it I am truly sorry and rest assured it was appreciated and just an oversight. I'm not the main event in our little studio and really just a helper with dilutions of grandeur. I do manage to throw a decent pot now and again and when I have issues about that or other pottery related things regarding process, equipment and such th
  14. As always you guys are great, thank you. Thanks GEP for the links exactly what we needed as well as the reassurance for the website. I hear nothing but great things about the company. Great suggestion on weights Mark. We do use about 30lbs or so a leg. We have some heavy rubber weights that take water or sand. My truck, trailer pottery and gear get really close to my max load so its nice adding and removing the weight on site. I might make a set like you describe for local shows because getting water is a challenge sometimes. The biggest problem we had in some big wind gust was the who
  15. I would appreciate some input on tents/canopy's. We took good advice early on and started out with a good ez-up canopy and its been fine but have decided we want to upgrade to a sturdier one that can also be a pipe and drape system for indoor shows. We are in the NW and the wind kind of kicked us around at more than one show. We have kind of zeroed in on the light dome because it's light weight. They seem to get great reviews, kind of taken back by the website as it really is so dated, has very little information, no store and I guess we have to call to order. Not sure what's worth it
  16. Hey Mike, Yeah they are fun and we like to spend an extra few days exploring, so there's that as well. Congratulations on everything, sounds like you are hitting it out of the park. I know you have worked hard and taken a lot of risks to get where you are. I'm a part timer in the business but it is a full time gig for the artist. She transitioned from a corporate position and is just not choosing that pace for her work. How she feels about it all, how I feel about what I do in the business is the whole ball game for us, seriously. We spent probably 25-30 grand we didn't need to just to hav
  17. Great post from Mike. I would only add that doing shows is something that we find to be very enjoyable. Highlights a great point though, there are different ways to make and sell those 3000 or so pieces of pottery and how you decide to do it will also decide your lifestyle to a very large extent so I would think that part through pretty thoroughly. At the end of the day this is going to be your new job and you will often be doing it in 10-12 hours stretches. There are plenty of full time potters making a good living just doing shows once they find the right shows and product mix. Likewise runn
  18. Hi Nancy, Just read through the thread and it sounds like you have some great advice to ponder. We are getting ready for the third season and from that I can tell you that the ramp up is by far the hard part and so many projects we really didn't see as the big time sinks they are. The first year was basically no revenue dollars to speak of and about 20k in expenses (not counting building additional 300 feet of studio space and the previous a 15k or so of equipment. We bought lots of additional tools and supplies and made the 4-600 or so pieces that always stay in inventory as we organi
  19. I've seen that product before but I can't remember its name... "Yellow Notepad" or some something similar. It requires something called a pen or pencil and I never could seem to find a reliable source for those. I don't think they are actually making them anymore and old inventory stocks are dwindling
  20. Putting a minimum of two or three hundred per item on custom orders will make a lot of sence. Doing a couple of $25 mugs for a custom order is absurd from a finacial standpoint if u are not using the regular form but fussing around with a $500 platter might work out. Even minimum extra effort means zero or negative margins for low dollar items and if you have to redo something it gets rediculious. Obviously there are other compelling reasons to do them here and there but I would caution to not don't fool yourself into feeling like you made a good sale on such an small order without one of
  21. Hi Mark, I wasn't talking about hours in the way you mean, I was posing an example of someone trying to figure out what a normal 40 hour job making $20 bucks an hour would look like from selling pottery at shows. I do know you do really well at shows and it’s hard to hear the numbers you toss out and not feel like the situations hopeless. I try to remember that you are who you are and have 40 years of building up to those numbers, at least I assume you had to build up to it. I do know you are in your sixties so that means you started out in your twenties and I am assuming you had much t
  22. Well I think some of the issue with new potters is not really thinking through what success looks like. As an example let’s say you need to make a 42k salary ($20 an hour on 40 hour week) selling pots at shows and for the sake of argument you can do one show each month and your expenses beyond yourself is 10% and your extra employment contribution and health insurance adds another 15%. Let’s further plug an average $1000 show cost. In this world that's $65,000 worth of pots a year and $5416 worth of pots you need to sell on the average at each show if shows are all you do. That’s
  23. Hi Mea, Hope your season is going/went well. I cannot begin to thank you for your various posts on the business of selling pottery. I think anyone even remotely considering pottery as a business should include your earnings project and fine art show post must reads. A year or two of dough will certainly make life easier. People can live very very cheap if they want to though and then perhaps a part time job to make up the difference? If you can get your sales at least to the point of exceeding the cash in to the show and pottery by $8-900 bucks a show then you might be able to eke out a l
  24. great blog, thanks! I think a lot of people think 50% wholesale cost is steep but for many the cost of retailing it themselves at shows is going to be in that same neighborhood, or higher, until they figure out the right mix of shows. Still though, just to defend this attitude a little for those of us starting out. There is a point where the 'cash in' passes the raw expenses of being there and you start paying toward the myriad of other cost. When I say out loud, as I have, that at least we broke even, I meant that we didn't actually spend more cash to actually do the show, not tha
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